In Memory of Chief Wayne Ruppert
Logos Academy is pleased to host the 3rd annual CommUNITY & Cops 5k on October 19, 2019, in memory of Chief Wayne Ruppert. Gail Ruppert (his wife) and Wayne Ruppert Jr. (his son), along with several family members have been working with Logos Academy for years now to build a scholarship fund to benefit students at Logos Academy, continuing the legacy of Chief Ruppert. But who was Chief Ruppert? Here is Wayne Jr. writes about his father:
Wayne Ruppert grew up as part of a large, close-knit family in York during the 1930s and 40s. At age 17 he joined the Navy and served in World War II. After the war, he emerged as a tough, fearless young thrill-seeker. Those who knew him in his early years describe him as a street-wise hellion, a daredevil destined for a jail cell or an early grave. In 1954, the sudden, untimely death of his father sparked a profound change in Wayne. Within a year, he surprised everyone who knew him, including himself, by becoming what he once hated most – a York City Police Officer.
Once on the police force, he never tried to hide his past. He often used stories of his previous misdeeds, such as the night he punched a State Trooper, to “break the ice” with the many hardened juvenile delinquents he encountered. In 1957 he founded the “White Rose Courtesy Club,” a group made up of teenagers who had gotten into minor trouble, such as speeding or drag racing on city streets. Club members engaged in activities to help the community, such as patrolling the streets to aid motorists in distress, assisting the elderly and raising money to buy wheelchairs for handicapped citizens.
His work and good rapport with York’s youths gained him a promotion to Juvenile Detective. In the mid-1960s he developed an “unofficial juvenile diversion program”, where he gave many juvenile offenders the option of reporting to him weekly at City Hall for “probation sessions” in lieu of criminal prosecution. During these sessions, groups of youths would work to make restitution for property they’d stolen or damaged and perform community services, all the while being counseled by Detective Ruppert. Upon completing their “probation sentences,” many youths wanted to continue returning to Detective Ruppert on Saturday mornings. Of course, Wayne didn’t turn them down; these “graduates” would help him with mentoring the newer “recruits.” During the two years this program was in service, Detective Ruppert mentored nearly two hundred teenagers, and juvenile crime in York dropped by 73 percent.
In 1974 Wayne was promoted to Chief of Police; his solid rapport with York’s youths and the respect he had earned in York’s multiple ethnic communities for treating all people fairly was no doubt a factor in his promotion.
After his retirement, he was often approached on the streets by adults who’d say, “Detective Ruppert, do you remember me? You arrested me many years ago, and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. You were like the Dad I never had.” In 2010, at the age of 84, Chief Wayne Ruppert passed away. Today, the Chief Wayne Ruppert Scholarship Fund promotes the legacy of a man who gave so much to a generation of York’s youngest citizens and allows him to continue making a positive impact on York’s youngsters, even though he has passed on.
Logos Academy is honored to part of Chief Ruppert’s legacy as we seek to provide to make a Christ-centered excellent education affordable and attainable for students no matter what their income. Additionally, through the CommUNITY & Cops 5k, we hope to build trust and respect between law enforcement and the community in all its diversity.